For many advisers, adapting to market changes is very difficult. The reality is that it’s always been necessary, but now it is absolutely essential. In fact you need to embrace change and also be a catalyst for change. At my company, we started examining our value proposition several years ago. We recognized that we needed to bring greater value to our client relationships and that we needed to be more strategic in our thinking. We needed to be more strategic while thinking about our clients’ and prospects’ business issues. And also more strategic in thinking about our own business model and the types of products and services we can provide to our relationships.

So what is your value proposition? How are you adapting your business model in light of the impact health care reform has already had on compensation levels? Why will your clients need you in 3-4 years? You’ve already incurred the client acquisition expense. How will you monetize the value of your client relationships and optimize your revenues? If you cannot answer these questions today, you better develop some answers fairly quickly in order to transition through this decade. We all have to transform.

We have become much more consultative in our approach and engage our clients in a strategic dialogue about what they are trying to accomplish with their benefits program. We help them to create a roadmap that guides all their major benefits decisions. In the process, we uncover additional needs. That often leads to: changing their benefits communication strategies and their enrollment practices; the intelligent integration of voluntary benefits; the application of enabling technologies; discussions about their retirement plans or executive benefits; their needs for human resource consulting services; and a myriad of other issues for which we can provide solutions.

I’d like to hear from you. What are you doing to bring greater value to your clients while increasing your revenues?

Beattie is president and chief executive of Selden Beattie Benefit Advisors in South Miami, Fla. She can be reached at 305-661-9090, or

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